The Philippine government is considering the imposition of a “close-out schedule” for cruise ships to Boracay in a bid to maintain the popular island’s carrying capacity.
The Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF), representing several government agencies and Boracay stakeholders, said the stay-away dates will include major Philippine holidays.
During these dates, no cruise ships would be allowed to dock on the island.
Among the dates reportedly under consideration are Holy Week (April 16-23, 2019), summer break (April-May 2019), All Saints’ Day-All Souls’ Day (Oct. 26-Nov. 8, 2019), and Christmas break (Dec. 20, 2019-Jan. 5, 2020).
A government official said there would be a scheduling of cruise trips, but cruise ship visits are suspended in the meantime. The government will also decide on how many passengers would be allowed to disembark from the ship.
The BIATF may also direct large cruise ships to urban ports while expedition ships, which usually carry not more than 200 passengers, would dock in Boracay, Camiguin and Palawan.
Alternative cruise destinations include Subic, Bataan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Bohol (Tagbilaran Port) and Bacolod, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).